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First Doses Of Covid-19 Vaccinations Quadruple In Quebec Ahead Of Weed And Alcohol Restrictions

Jake Massey

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| Last updated 

First Doses Of Covid-19 Vaccinations Quadruple In Quebec Ahead Of Weed And Alcohol Restrictions

The number of appointments for a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine has quadrupled in Quebec, Canada, ahead of new alcohol and weed restrictions.

On Thursday (6 January), the region's health minister, Christian Dubé, announced that people would be required to show proof of vaccination before entering government run liquor and cannabis stores, with the rule taking effect from 18 January.

People will have to be vaccinated to enter the stores. Credit: Alamy
People will have to be vaccinated to enter the stores. Credit: Alamy

The move comes amid sharply rising infection rates, fuelled by the Omicron variant, and while 80 percent of the province's population is already vaccinated, officials said hospitalisation rates are also rising - largely among the unvaccinated.

It's hoped the new measures will incentivise this remaining 20 percent to get jabbed, and the announcement appears to have had an immediate impact.

Writing on Twitter on Friday (7 January), Dubé said: "In just a few days, the appointments for the 1st dose went from 1.5K per day to over 6K yesterday.

"Thank you to everyone who decided to get vaccinated. It is not too late to receive your 1st dose. Protect yourself."

The province already requires proof of vaccination when entering health-care facilities, indoor sports venues, movie theaters, bars and nightclubs, with under 13s and some adults exempt.

Appointments have increased sharply. Credit: Alamy
Appointments have increased sharply. Credit: Alamy

Dubé has made the purpose of such measures abundantly clear.

According to The Washington Post, he said: "We're going to make sure they understand very well that if they can't get vaccinated, then they should stay home."

At the vaccination center at Montreal's Olympic Stadium, news site La Presse spoke to residents who had belatedly decided to get jabbed.

Mohamed Tazi said: "Before, I was against [the vaccine], but I changed my mind. There is no point in being against it. I want to live my life without being locked up."

Fares Kouahi echoed this view by saying: "There are several things I can't do, like going to cafeterias and restaurants. I no longer have a choice."

The health minister wants unvaccinated people to stay at home. Credit: Alamy
The health minister wants unvaccinated people to stay at home. Credit: Alamy

Meanwhile, Germany has also toughened up entry requirements for restaurants and bars.

Citizens were already required to show proof of vaccination before entering such establishments, but on Friday, leaders decided that customers will also have to show that they have received a booster shot or provide a negative test result.

"This is an extra incentive to get boosters," Berlin mayor Franziska Giffey said.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: World News, Coronavirus, Drugs

Jake Massey
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